There is a reason why dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend”. Dogs are loyal, loving, and excellent additions to any family. Dogs provide the kind of unconditional love we can struggle to find in many other places. Welcoming a pup into your family can help all members of your family in so many different ways. They also introduce some great habits into your life, just by being there.
This is why every family should have a dog…
1. They force you to exercise more
When you get a dog, you will have to incorporate their walks into your routine. Dogs need to go outside on walks multiple times a day. This will add some light exercise into your days. You can take it a step further, by taking your pup on jogs, runs, or even when you ride your bike. The type of exercise you will be able to do with your pup depends on the breed and size. But even just walking your dog or running with them in the back garden can be a great source of exercise.
2. They teach children responsibility
If you have children (or plan to) having a dog is a great way to teach your child how to be responsible. If you give your child tasks to take care of your furry friend (such as feeding or walking them) they will learn how to be more responsible. They will learn that when someone (or something) relies on them, they need to follow through. Similar to giving your children chores, giving them tasks to complete (in regards to taking care of your dog) can teach them how to be responsible later on in life.
3. They will guard your home
Having a furry family member is a great way to have security measures for your home. Dogs want to protect their families naturally, so this is not something you will need to teach them. A lot of the time, pups will even sleep by the door to “guard” the home during the night. If they see something that doesn’t seem normal, they will usually bark or alert you in some way. This is a great way to know if there is something that needs your attention outside or near your home.
4. There’s always someone to come home to
Just like I mentioned before, dogs provide unconditional love for their family members. They are also consistent in that they are always there. If anyone in the family had a bad day at work or school, your pup will always be there. So many things in our lives are unpredictable. But dogs are always there for you; physically and emotionally.
5. They offer unconditional love
Dogs are such wonderful sources of unconditional love. They do not judge us, they do not care how much money we have, and they don’t have any conditions to their love. They will always be there at the end of the day, happier than ever to see you.
6. They can help build your children’s immune systems
One of the big benefits of a family dog is that they can improve your children’s health. There has been some research that suggests that children who grow up with dogs or cats have stronger immune systems than those who don’t. This same research has shown that there is a correlation between children living with pets and having less allergies. Aside from all of the emotional benefits of having a dog, this is a great physical benefit for your children.
7. They will always listen
Dogs always are there to provide an open ear. They will not judge you if you are obsessing over that presentation at work. They will not judge you if you need to vent about your partner. While dogs don’t technically understand what we are saying when we talk to them, they have a way of understanding the feeling associated with it. Dogs have this magic way of knowing when we need them at the perfect times.
8. They teach your children selflessness
In addition to teaching your children responsibility, having a dog can teach them to be selfless. There are not many opportunities for children to take care of something outside of themselves. This teaches them to care for animals and always be kind to them.
9. They encourage you to socialise
Dogs are a great way to add more socialisation into your life. Whether you realise it or not, you may have more interactions with people if you have a family dog. For example, if you take a walk you may see a few neighbours and ask them how their day is going. These interactions may be small, but they make a big difference in making us feel connected with others. Interacting with others is a crucial part of maintaining our mental health.
10. They improve your mental health
Having pets has been proven to benefit our mental health. Dogs are extremely loyal and want to offer you love whenever they have a chance to. This makes us feel needed and loved. Having a pup makes us feel less alone, which is going to lead to less of a risk for depression. In addition to making us feel less alone, they also provide a purpose for us. If someone is going through a hard time or struggling with depression having a furry family member will help them get out of bed in the morning. Even if it’s just to feed and walk them, they help us to get out of our minds and take care of something outside of ourselves.
Find out more about the health benefits of pets in my other blog “How pets are good for your health“.
Every Family Should Have a Dog
Getting a dog can be one of the most rewarding processes you will ever go through. Being a pet portrait artist and having had many pet dogs myself (from birth onwards) I am well aware of the profound impact they can have on a family.
Life can be hard sometimes and it’s important to have things that remind you of the good in the world. Dogs can do just that. They make a delightful addition to any family with or without children. Every family should have a furry member and a dog is one of the best pets you can possibly have.